AS I SEE IT - 4/01/2003:
How wrestling fans can help those in Iraq,
their families, and refugees
by: Bob Magee
The readership of this column, and its flagship website PWBTS, comes from 61 countries, just in 2003 alone. Many of those countries and their people have different opinions on the war in Iraq. This AS I SEE IT column isn't going to try and convince you of the truth of either side of the argument.
But it seems to me that regardless of one's opinion of the war in Iraq, it should be reasonably obvious that those who provide service to the United States and to other allied countries are deserving of regard for their efforts, and of material assistance while in the field.
One of the mistakes that those against the Vietnam War made was to target some of those who served in Vietnam, rather than target solely the American government that fostered the war. Hopefully, people that oppose the Iraq war have learned from those mistakes, and will confine their opposition to those in the leadership positions that have made the decisions to invade Iraq.
Whatever your viewpoint, there are several ways that wrestling fans of whatever political persuasion, as well as wrestling promotions at their shows; can provide material assistance or send greetings to those serving, provide material assistance to the families of those serving, or provide material assistance to refugees of the war.
Here are some of the ways that you can do so:
- Donate a telephone calling card to help keep service members in touch with their families at Operation Uplink at http://www.operationuplink.org
- Send a greeting via e-mail through Operation Dear Abby at http://anyservicemember.navy.mil/. Generic snail-mail letters to "Any service member" will not be accepted, due to what are referred to as "security concerns".
- Sign a virtual thank you card at the Defend America Web site at http://www.defendamerica.mil/nmam.html.
- Send letters addressed to a specific soldier. Through
NeighborhoodPostal.com, find the nearest location participating in Operation Mail for Freedom. The envelope can be any size and your neighborhood postal center will send it for free. http://www.neighborhoodpostal.com.
- The United Service Organizations (USO) is also sponsoring "Operation USO Care Package," which enables individuals to financially support care packages to be delivered to service members en route to their tour of duty. Each Care Package costs $25. Care Packages contain an assortment of items specifically requested by the military, such as prepaid international calling cards, disposable cameras, toiletries, and sunscreen.
Donations can be sent to: USO World Headquarters, P.O. Box 70264, Washington, DC 20024, or online at this link.
You may also donate through the many local media outlets, organizations, businesses, schools and colleges, and government officials that are supporting the Operation USO Care Package effort.
- Operation Interdependence, located at http://www.oidelivers.org allows groups to donate 30 pound packages of incidentals including books, cameras (disposable), camper style foods, candy, cards,
Chapstick, dental floss, facial tissues, fast food Hot Sauce packets, flashlights, Girl Scout cookies, gum, magazines, moist wipes, music CDs, Odor Eaters (for boots), pencils, pens, phone cards, playing cards, powdered drink mix, and razors.
- The Army and Air Force Exchange Service offers "Gifts from the
Homefront" certificates that can be sent to individual friends, family members or associates. The certificates can be purchased at this site and are redeemable at any
BX/PX. You can also call (877) 770-GIFT to order such a certificate.
Along with those in the military...there are the families they leave behind.
You can contribute to funds set up by the branches of the United States armed forces via the following:
- Army Emergency Relief, Attn: Donations, 200 Stovall Street, Room 5-N-13, Alexandria, VA 22332-0600
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Iraq War Assistance, P. O. Box 791297, Baltimore MD 21279-1297
- Air Force Assistance Fund: https://www.afas.org/afas/credit_donations.cfm.
For those who would like to send money to those organizations beginning the task of providing material assistance to the people of Iraq, including food and refugee assistance, as well as providing aid to prisoners of war, you can donate to:
- UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) at this link. UNICEF works on behalf of children providing food, blankets and other essential supplies to the most vulnerable in war... children.
- International Red Cross/Red Crescent, the parent organization of the American Red Cross, provides food, water, shelter and medical care to refugees of the Iraq war, and provides aid to prisoners of war. You can donate via this link.
As for other, far less important issues... continued thanks to all of you for your thoughts on my recent column on the ECW Arena and its history. For those of you who'd like to further encourage the Philadelphia independent promotions to do something on May 10th honoring the date, here are their public e-mail addresses, if you'd like to send them an e-mail.
- Combat Zone Wrestling: CZWWrestling@comcast.net
- Pro-Pain Pro Wrestling (3PW): Info3PW@aol.com
- Ring of Honor: RFVideo1@aol.com
To conclude... a reminder that this Saturday, April 5th, is the seventh annual Super 8 tournament, sponsored by Jim Kettner's East Coast Wrestling Association, takes place at St. Matthew's Parish Center in Wilmington, DE with a 7:00 pm
This year's tournament features:
- Brian "Spanky" Kendrick (WWE)
- Paul London (Ring of Honor/NWA-TNA)
- Alex Arion (New England Championship Wrestling)
- Chance Beckett (NWA/ECCW in Canada)
- Chris Sabin (Ontario and Detroit independents, IWA Mid-South Wrestling)
- Frankie Kazarian (replacing the injured Johnny Jeter from Ohio Valley Wrestling)
- Chris Cage (Ohio Valley Wrestling)
- Sedrick Strong (IPW Hardcore Wrestling-Florida)
Despite his recent injury that has caused him to miss dates with Ring of Honor and NWA-TNA, Paul London
is scheduled to return for the Super 8 Tournament. Tickets are $14.00 each, and are available at the door, as well as at Mike Womer's 1614 Fitness Center, Fox Run Shopping Center, Bear, DE and at Alpha Pizza, 1402 E. Newport Pike, Newport, DE (about a mile from St. Matthew's Parish Center).
For more information call: (302) 325-1592 or go to the ECWA website.
New York fans can attend the event 8 via a bus trip emanating from Queens, New York to the event. The trip will leave at 1:30 pm from the Modells behind the Queens Center Mall and will be $45 per person. The trip includes your transportation back and forth to Delaware on our luxury bus, your ticket to the show. For reservations and information, email AgentCLPT@aol.com.
Boston area fans can travel to both the ECWA Super 8 and a Baltimore Orioles game on April 4th and 5th via Pro Wrestling Tours. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by
e-mail at email@example.com)